The accusations and rumors continue to haunt Jeffree despite (or perhaps because of) his enormous successes. And that’s something he and fellow influencer Shane Dawson, who knows a thing or two about causing controversial moments himself, addressed head-on during last year’s five-part docu-series The Secret World of Jeffree Star. During the series, in which Shane attempted to get a better understanding of the mysterious (and rich AF) life that Jeffree lives, the two spoke about the moments in Jeffree’s past, moments that he again attempted to recontextualize. The thing about throwing battery acid in a woman’s face to lighten her skin tone? It was a comedy sketch, he said. Calling people the n-word on the street? They were white women, so it wasn’t about race, he insisted.
A mostly sympathetic ear to his explanations, Shane, too, has some darker moments in his YouTube past, moments that, beginning in 2008, saw him use blackface and the n-word, as well. He wouldn’t apologize for the blackface until 2014. More recently, he’s come under fire for crass jokes about bestiality and pedophilia and for giving Jeffree and other controversial YouTuber Jake Paul sympathetic platforms after they’ve taken heat from the community at large.